Changes Across 25 Years of Statistics in Medicine

In light of the CHANCE special issue on the culture of statistics in medicine, we asked senior members of the medical community to comment about their experience with statistics over the past 25 years. Statisticians have made substantial progress in working with medical researchers, practitioners, and public health workers; doctors are reporting that statistics is integrated into almost every aspect of medical analysis. However, there is also a sense that sophisticated statistics are needed to answer complex medical questions. Not all clinicians are trained to understand the results from such studies, and not all researchers see the fruitfulness associated with collaborations with statisticians. The perspectives included in the interviews on the following pages help direct us, as statisticians, toward continued partnership in answering important medical and public health questions.

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